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Shoreditch-inspired 'Under the Flyover' scheme recommended for approval

PUBLISHED: 13:52 02 January 2019

An artist's impression for what the Under The Flyover scheme could look like. Photo: Columbia Threadneedle

An artist's impression for what the Under The Flyover scheme could look like. Photo: Columbia Threadneedle

Columbia Threadneedle

A vision for a derelict part of Norwich city centre inspired by similar schemes in parts of London has been recommended for council approval.

Dubbed Under the Flyover, the scheme calls for more than a dozen pop-up shops to be placed on land off Magdalen Street, close to Anglia Square.

The shops would be inside stripped and refitted shipping containers, similar to those used in developments in London’s Shoreditch and Croydon.

The application has come from Columbia Threadneedle, the developers behind the £271m regeneration of Anglia Square, which was approved by the city council last month.

It seeks temporary permission to use 0.16 hectares of land beneath the St Crispins Road flyover, permission which would last for a decade.

The Under The Flyover scheme at the Magdalen Street flyover. Pic: Columbia ThreadneedleThe Under The Flyover scheme at the Magdalen Street flyover. Pic: Columbia Threadneedle

It is hoped the containers would present opportunities for businesses who will be displaced during work on the Anglia Square revamp.

Chris Ward, of Columbia Threadneedle, said: “Under the Flyover will be a vibrant and creative new space for Norwich. We will be encouraging local independent businesses, stores and pop-ups to join us.”

While the controversial plans for Anglia Square received fierce objection, these proposals have been welcomed by both Historic England and the Norwich Society - two of the key critics of the regeneration.

Alongside the containers, the application includes creating a new performance space with public seating.

Under the flyover on Magdalen Street.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018Under the flyover on Magdalen Street. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

Historic England has said the scheme would work towards linking the two parts of Magdalen Street separated by the flyover, arguing the strip of land as it is “discourages people from venturing further from the city centre”.

David Eve, of Historic England, said: “As a permanent solution this is perhaps not a design which reflects the historic character of the surrounding conservation area, but as an initiative to show how an initially unappealing space can be brought into positive use it is to be supported.”

The application site, which stretches from beneath to flyover to nearby shops to the left of the entrance to Anglia Square, is currently used for car parking and has previously served as a venue for Magdalen Street festival.

Norwich City Council’s planning committee will decide the application’s fate on Thursday, January 10.

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